verb (used with object)

to set on end, as a barrel or ship.
to affect drastically or radically, as tastes, opinions, reputations, or systems.
to defeat in competition, as in boxing or business.

verb (used without object)

to become upended.
to place the body back-end up, as a dabbling duck.

Origin of upend

First recorded in 1815–25; up- + end1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for upend

Contemporary Examples of upend

Historical Examples of upend

  • The log plunges after him, holding him down and back till he drowns; and his whereabouts are revealed by the upend of the tree.

  • It is safe, as we will never meet again, and all ideas of justice will upend in the coming cataclysm.

    The Sequel

    George A. Taylor

British Dictionary definitions for upend



to turn or set or become turned or set on end
(tr) to affect or upset drastically
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for upend

1823, from up + end. Related: Upended; upending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper